10:51 AM

Classic for Columbus spotlights HBCUs

The spirit of football was in the air last weekend at Ohio Stadium, but the focus wasn't on the Buckeyes. The venue hosted the inaugural Classic for Columbus featuring rivals Kentucky State University and Central State University. The game was the centerpiece of the Classic’s four-day celebration of educational and cultural programs held in downtown Columbus August 25-29.

"Even though Kentucky State emerged victorious over CSU 20-6, the real winners were the many historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) that were showcased as part of the event," said Ramon Jones, chief marketing officer at Nationwide, a presenting sponsor of the event.

The popularity of the event drew a crowd of more than 20,000. Beyond the football game, activities included a career fair where Nationwide engaged with students and prospective talent, a battle of the bands, a drumline competition, and other events to highlight the experience of attending an HBCU. 

As part of its commitment to the event and to the HBCU community, Nationwide presented both Kentucky State University and Central State University checks for $25,000, which will be used for the schools’ scholarship funds.

"Nationwide was proud to be a presenting sponsor of this year’s event," Jones said. "We have a long history and talent pipeline with HBCUs across the country, so when the opportunity to support the weekend’s events came to our attention, it was a thrill to offer our support."

That long history was further demonstrated last year when Nationwide announced the formation of an alliance to connect financial firms with HBCUs to increase diversity in the financial services industry. The Financial Alliance for Racial equity was recently recognized by Investment News for its efforts to make a positive impact.

For more information on Nationwide's broader commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, click here.